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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 119 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Weapons

27 November 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 119 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Weapons

Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

I am writing about the extrapolation of science and technology to be able to write science fiction.  I made the point that it is almost meaningless to try to fully extrapolate a universe (world) that is 10,000 years in the future (and maybe 1,000 years in the future) without applying some cultural and technological shaping.

By shaping the cultures of your science fiction universe, you can shape the science and technology that is extrapolated.  Here is how I culturally shaped the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox to make the 10,000 year extrapolation work.

The major areas in warfare technology are:
1.  Software
2.  Weapons
3.  Countermeasures
4.  Defense
5.  Communications
6.  Robots
7.  Vehicles
8.  Environments (personal equipment) 

The best, least expensive, and most efficient means to project a slug at high velocity is gun powder (or actually gun cotton).  Gun powder hasn't been used for a long time because gun powder compared to gun cotton is unstable, corrosive, and susceptible to water.  Gun cotton is stable, noncorrosive, and works when wet.  It is likely that gun cotton or more advanced forms will be the means of most terrestrial weapons.  The problem becomes what do you do when you get to space where there is zero gravity.

There are other methods to project a slug or a particle at high velocity.  Unfortunately, most of them can't be carried by an individual yet.  For example, linear accelerator systems can project particles at very high velocities and accelerations.  I've seen linear accelerators project 20mm plastic projectiles over 20 miles.  If we remember 1/2mv^2, we realize that the weight of a projectile at high velocities is immaterial--what matters is the velocity.  A plastic slug at Mach 20 will pierce anything.  You can't protect anything from a projectile at that velocity; however, there is no way yet to produce enough electrical or chemical power to power a linear accelerator that an individual can carry.  We are getting to the point where a large aircraft or vehicle could carry a linear accelerator, but the real problem is targeting.  The number of variables required to hit a target with a projectile at that velocity is very high.  It is similar to what is required to hit a satellite in orbit--and that's a relatively easy solution comparatively.  You have to take into consideration, aerodynamics, astrodynamics, coriolis effects, chemical effects, etc. etc.  Part of the problem is electrical (or chemical) power and part of the problem is computing power.  There are other means to project slugs.

More tomorrow.

Also remember, I'm trying to show you and give you examples of how to write a science fiction theme statement and turn it into a plot.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

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